ARTCORE #31: $10, 8” x 10”, offset, 40 pgs.

Punk could be described as a culture of youth. Even if some of the participants are older, it is still driven by the angst and velocity of youth. I am infinitely more interested in new young bands than old fucks reforming; and, while I’m blasting through middle age, it’s the youthful exuberance I still am drawn to in punk. Sometimes in this age of message boards and internet know-it-alls it’s good to have a barometer, or a weather vane to know the lay of the land. When I was a kid I looked to MRR and a number of independent zines with strong voices. These days, kids run MRR, and the zines are all gone. Except Artcore: one of the first zines I ever saw when I was younger. Welly still puts out a few issues a year. Rather than retreat, he attacks, adding LPs and EPs to the impossible talk of self-publishing. As always, Welly is a great barometer of taste, one foot in the new Sickoids, Rough Kids, Endless Grinning Skulls, Domestics, Conquest For Death, Off, one in the past Chuck Dukowski, and the best write up of Italian hardcore ever written. There’s Welly’s frank reviews and editorial voice throughout. My only complaint is the tiny print overlaid and the over-desktop-published look. So, yeah, the only complaint is that it’s almost too slick. Consistently one of the best. This issue comes with a Violent Arrest / Endless Grinning Skulls EP reviewed elsewhere. –Tim Brooks ([email protected])